Music: Joby Talbot and Jon Hopkins
Director and Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
Reviewer: Jude Evans
The Public Reviews Rating:
Entity begins and ends with screen footage of a greyhound running at speed. It somehow reminds me of Edgar Degas and the artist’s preoccupation with the moving, stretching, athletic form of animals, bathing figures and, not least, dancers. This repetition clearly emphasises the main element that Wayne McGregor wants his audience to observe: the human body’s movement. Entity’s success is in its consciousness of human movement and form in all its weirdest and most wonderful shapes which pervade our everyday existence.
It is all at once strange and familiar; abstract, distorted forms appear, yet as the single figures of the opening begin to interact, the stage fills with dancers in a crowd-like formation, something resembling a scene in a busy street or public square. Every movement can be interpreted as many instances in life. Sports, day-to-day walks, relationships all emerge and blur one into another throughout McGregor’s sequences. But whilst recognisable, these movements, in their most basic form, are simply a constantly shifting series of shapes which demonstrate the very limits to which the human body can be pushed.
We are invited to observe the sequences, as we might a dizzying work of art, and to trace the lines the dancers make both individually and together. The dancers are riveting through the sheer athleticism with which they flow from one moment into another. The performance seems to ask us to connect what is presented in front of us with an awareness of the beauty and peculiarity of our own form.
If there is a fault at all with Entity, it is that it engages on a predominantly intellectual level rather than emotional; we might marvel at the shapes the dancers’ bodies form and the variety of human movement, but it is somewhat difficult to be transported on a journey with them. That said McGregor still presents a powerful piece on the extraordinary capability of the human body.